Blog

My story (so far)

The last few years I've had a lot of fun working on internet businesses – creating products, ad campaigns, web apps, and releasing them to the world.

I like to work fast, documenting the ups and downs. The ones that worked, the ones that didn't, and why.

In the last decade I've been a designer, web developer and advertising creative.

If you enjoy this stuff, please share and say g'day at charlie@gearsi.de

Discovering Photoshop

As a teenager, my love for Photoshop (thanks, Limewire) and cars had me illustrating the car designs of the future. According to Wikipedia, this scene now has a name – Virtual Tuning, though I called it 'photoshopping cars'.

My first line of HTML

This led soon led to my first website, awkwardly coded from tables in Adobe Dreamweaver. This also led to my first dollar on Google AdSense. The cost-per-click on car keywords was beyond good, so this served like a gateway drug into the world of online business.

Perls of wisdom

From there, throughout university, I worked as a web developer and UI designer in a bank and startup incubator in Sydney, Australia. I learnt the scripting language Perl, a bit of JavaScript and built a bunch of websites. Many of them don't bear repeating – though ShapeDatabase, stocked with free files of pentagons and dodecahedrons, was a particular low point. Cringe.

Joining Adland

From there, convinced that I was cooler than my computer science cohort, chased a shiny position in an Advertising Agency. With my dad's advertising war stories from the Golden Age of the 1980s ringing in my ears, I thought I had found my calling.

Quitting Adland

Turns out, it's nothing like Mad Men anymore, thanks to the atom bomb that is the internet. Budgets are smaller, marketers are more timid and ideas just aren't as wide-reaching as they used to be.

Learning programming

So, an about-turn. In 2016 I quit my advertising job, grateful for what it taught me about branding and clear communication. I went back to technology and startups and locked myself in a room in Bondi to learn in JavaScript (this time, Node.js).

Building brands

In the last couple of years I've built two web apps (Decka and WorldwideMed) and two brands (Petflair and Van Diemen's Land), and each one is taking my closer to my goal of building a successful online business.

Digital marketing + DTC

In 2017, I joined the Australian direct-to-consumer mattress startup Koala as a front-end developer and soon took the role of Creative Director. We made lots of fun ads and built a brand that is loved in Australia. I learned a shitload about digital marketing from Dany and Tim.

Founding a VC-backed company

In 2019, my plan is to take fewer, bigger bets and improve my focus. I left Koala to start Eucalyptus, a multi-brand, DTC business builder. We have just launched our first brand, Pilot.

As of March 2018, I'm Founder at Australian DTC startup Eucalyptus